Learn some of Catherine’s pro tips on how to effectively cross-sell your other procedures, treatments and products that compliment your patient’s current purchases. A great way to effortlessly boost your sales like magic!
This is mandatory listening for increased revenue with little to no expense! Your ROI can go through the roof if you simply follow Catherine’s easy-to-implement strategies!
Hello and welcome to “Beauty and the Biz” where we talk about the business and marketing side of the cosmetic practice. I’m your host Catherine Maley, author of “Your Aesthetic Practice – What Your Patients are Saying”, as well as consultant to cosmetic practices to get them more patients and more profits.
Today’s episode is called “Easy ways to cross-sell all of your services”. Now here’s the plan. The easiest way to grow your revenues is to increase the number of patient visits and then increase their average order size during their visit, and then increase the number of referrals they give to you. Easy enough but here’s what happens when I talk to staff about doing things like this. The first words out of their mouth are “I’m not a salesman. I’m not pushy. I can’t push all this stuff on the patients.”
Here’s a problem with that mindset – It’s not going to help you grow your practice or your revenues. They need to shift that, and so do you for that matter if you also feel like you’re selling patients things that they don’t want. Because here’s the real truth – the beauty of a cosmetic patient is the endless needs they have to look good. So if you think about it, especially as the aging process happens to all of us, they have concerns like wrinkle lines, blotchy and crepey skin, sagging body parts, small breasts, large thighs and it goes on and on and on so please never spend your patients money for them. If they want to look good and feel good they want to know all the things you offer to make that happen because here’s what typically happens: You hear them say, “I didn’t know you did that!” You know why? Because you’re not talking about all the services you offer. Neither is your staff. They oftentimes will come to you for one procedure and that’s all they think of you as and they don’t even think that you offer other things. It doesn’t dawn on them. They’re not thinking that way so you really have to be very specific about helping every single person who walks through your practice know every service, procedure, treatment and product you offer.
So it all starts by the educating in the reception area (by the way in our industry we never call it the waiting room because nobody wants to wait when they have a credit card, it’s called the reception area). That is going to start with a simple phone call to your practice and it’s your receptionist who needs to be trained to offer a greeting and then inform them of any new procedure, treatment, or product you offer. For example, when a caller calls your practice the receptionist can say “Good afternoon, Dr. Smith’s office, now offering the mini facelift. Catherine speaking, how may I assist you today?” That took them two extra seconds to say those five extra words, which are, “now offering the mini facelift” and I guarantee you’ll have a majority of patients say, “whoa whoa whoa you offer a mini facelift? Tell me more about that!” Or if they don’t say it now, they’re gonna say it at their consultation. For example, “by the way
Sally I know I’m here for micro needling but I did hear about a mini facelift your receptionist mentioned, can you tell me more about that?”
That is the easiest way to upsell, cross-sell, whatever you want to call it. Your patient could want more than what they’re in there for. Another really great opportunity is your flat-screen monitor. I am very surprised how many offices I walk into and they are spewing today’s news. I have to tell you, I haven’t watched news in probably 20 years. I don’t even have a television set. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life and you certainly don’t want that negativity spewing through your practice when somebody is there with a credit card to look good. No negativity at that point. That flat-screen monitor needs to be all about you and what you’re offering your patients to look and feel great.
Personally, I think your best bet is to run a silent PowerPoint presentation of simple before and after photos of your great work and I would have photo captions with arrows and circles around photos so they’d see what it is you’re trying to show them. I like it silent because you know what ends up happening, the staff that has to listen to your videos, especially your vendor videos or any of the videos you did, if they have to listen to that eight hours a day they’re gonna go crazy. And if a patient who is waiting has to hear it more than once, they’re gonna go crazy. So I have just found a silent PowerPoint seems to work the best.
You can also have in there signage that’s educational. Things like, “Did you know Botox can treat…” and then show a visual of all the areas Botox can treat because I guarantee most of your patients have no idea what Botox can do for them. It’s like the worry lines, the golf ball chin, the marionette lines, the lip lines; oh they just don’t even know how much it can do at the bottom of the face, they only know about let’s say crow’s feet so you want to point that out to them.
You can also use those pop-up banners that they use in the exhibit halls introducing a new procedure. There are so many vendors who offer these posted stands or pop-up stands. They’re really eye-catching and you put them in the corner so they don’t take up a lot of real estate in your office and they’re really big so there’s a lot of geography there. You can put on there things like “get your curves back” and “show some skin this summer” and then show before and after photos and then “ask me today about…” and then whatever that procedure is. It’s an easy way for them to start the discussion about additional procedures. So you and your staff don’t have to push, especially if you’re afraid of selling. Put up signage and these strategies to help the patient ask instead of you having to ask, that’s the real strategy.
Here you can also use lapel pins for your staff to wear or t-shirts on certain days. Things like “got lips?” I think that’s so cute. I made that up, it’s kind of like “got milk?” but instead in our industry, it’s, “got lips?” and then if you don’t have lips, well you can have some today.
In your reception area I sure hope there are no People magazines or any fun stuff, this is all about getting into your world so I would eliminate any of that and everything would be about iPads and photo albums full of your before and after photos. Here’s my spin on photos – the way to cross-sell all your procedures is when somebody wants, let’s say lipo, and you know they need a tummy tuck. That probably happens an awful lot, so before you even get to that discussion you can have a photo page of a patient who had just lipo and it wasn’t enough. Show a patient who had a tummy tuck and liposuction, breast aug so do you see how you’re cross promoting more surgical procedures without forcing it? You’re just educating them. This is a patient who only had lipo, this is a patient who had lipo and tummy tuck, this is a patient who also had their breasts…doesn’t that make sense? And now your discussion can be better because they’ll see why somebody needed a tummy tuck and lipo.
Now you can also add a cosmetic questionnaire to your patient intake forms. It’s a separate piece of paper so here’s the thing, if they’re a new patient and you’re gonna make them fill out five pages of paperwork, this is not the time to talk about a cosmetic questionnaire because they already feel like they’re doing a homework assignment. However, you give it to a current patient, and the way I would do it is I would have a questionnaire, I would use a clipboard and have a pen attached and on the way to the exam room say, “Sarah we added this new cosmetic questionnaire so feel free to fill it out if you feel like it” and then you leave it with them in the exam room while they’re waiting for you to visit them. Now the questionnaire is also very strategic. What happens is you typically see questions like “would you like to know more about Botox or body tightening” or all these names of vendor consumer technology that they don’t know anything about. Instead of that it’s much more about what concerns you. So my headline is “What concerns you? Please check off any of the any of the things here that concern you so we can talk about it during your consultation.” And at that point, you list pain points, things that really concern them like what I already said; wrinkles, blotchy skin, big nose, saggy breasts, unsightly leg veins, and it goes on and on. That makes for a much more interesting conversation because when you enter the room and they’ve got that clipboard in their lap, they definitely want to talk about more than just what they came for. Which is a good thing. Now they realize “Wow I didn’t know you could help me with all of this.” If they don’t fill it out, no problem but at least now it’s in their mind or in their memory “oh well they do offer all of these things I didn’t realize that I was just thinking he’s a surgeon and not anything else.” So it’s a good strategy.
Another one is to have a practice newsletter and then have it printed and in your exam rooms so a patient can pick it up and look at it. This is old school but it works really well if you’re trying to cross-promote all sorts of different services, but it’s a project. Somebody’s got to write it, somebody’s got to print it, it’s not for the faint of heart but I have watched it work very well in practices especially if you are gonna make people wait. Getting something to read or watch, also some really great signage – things like buddy Botox sign things, like “got wrinkles, got a friend?” and then the sign will say bring a friend to your next Botox appointment and you both get an instant $50 gift card towards your treatment “ask us for details” and that way they say, “hey tell me more about this Botox thing” or “what if I have five friends?” Well then we’ll do something special for all five of them.
Ok now they’re in the exam room and this is the perfect place for more silent selling tools so here’s an example a very simple menu of services that’s aesthetically pleasing. It’s blown up, I mean I’ve had it blown up to like six feet tall, it doesn’t have to be that big but it does need to be big so it doesn’t just get lost in the room, and I often have it on the internet. They have those box frames, canvas box frames, they look really good, they’re very light, they don’t mess up the wall, it’s easy to put up and take down. It’s very light but it has your menu and you break them down by surgical solutions, non-surgical solutions, or breast solutions, body solutions, face solutions, minimally invasive treatments, the products you offer… The whole point is for them to keep seeing the offers. So I could actually come here for more than just the one thing I come here for so that way you become the one-stop shop for them rather than them parsing it out to all sorts of different vendors. I assure you you’re getting some of their disposable income, a Medi spa down the road is getting some of their disposable income, so is maybe their gynecologist who does laser hair removal, so does the Clinique or the Chanel counter, they get some of their disposable income for products I assure you. They’re all over the place and frankly most of us are too busy in today’s world and would love a one-stop shop solution.
Now also have a digital photo frame in your exam rooms and it’s very similar to the one in the reception area, it’s just your PowerPoint silently going around and around talking about all the different treatments you offer and showing before and after photos. They will watch that and when you enter the room there’s a really good chance they’re gonna say “wow I saw a really killer transformation, tell me more”, and that’s what I want. A lot of the vendors now offer educational videos and you can put them on an iPad and at that point I would order some disposable earbuds and like they do at the health club they just give you the disposable earbuds and then have them listen to these quietly to themselves. It’ll keep them focused on the iPad and you, but it won’t interrupt anybody else. The educational videos are nice easy ways to show each of the surgical procedures.
I have to tell you I’m struggling with showing real live surgeries on Instagram; you’re grossing people out and they’re not getting a good feeling from it. I think the cartoons are easier if they’re not blood and guts, but it’s up to you. And then here are some ideas for when you’re actually presenting to the patient. Now hear me out on this. I really do believe in 3D computer imaging for surgical procedures. Frankly I believe in it for everything; for skin analysis, for anything. There are many vendors who offer these but when I ask the practices why they don’t use them, they say, “oh we don’t have time to do that” or “it feels so salesy I just don’t like it.”
Usually it’s because you’re not good at it because you didn’t get comfortable with it.
I will tell you, I was in a practice where they wanted to increase their facelifts and the coordinator and the doctor got really good at using 3D imaging. So the patient would come in, see the coordinator first, discuss her concerns, and the coordinator would do most of the computer imaging. They would be talking and she would say, “yes I want it like that” and then she would do it and then the doctor would come in and pretty much just do some tweaks and bless what was already done. Because they worked so well together and the patient loved it, in my book I think it was something like 96 % of patients wanted computer imaging so I’m not sure why you wouldn’t give the patient what they want. Not only are you both discussing what a little means to you (because a little to you means a little differently to them) and you get all caught up on “oh I can’t do that because what if they don’t get that result?” Well then frankly you need to be realistic if they’re not going to get that result you tell them that you know it wouldn’t. This is not the time for you to exaggerate, I just think it’s a really good communication tool and I would just get good at that and everyone’s happy.
Here’s another idea. Why not give them a beauty plan for non-surgical procedures? A lot of people in today’s world don’t think they ever need a facelift because of all the new technology going on, but if that’s the case then they need to see you several times, like all the time, forever in order to avoid that facelift which they can’t avoid eventually. But in the meantime, give them what they want. Map out “okay you don’t want to do a facelift, here’s what you are going to need; here are a multitude of injectables, multitude of Botox, multiple treatments of a laser,” and on and on. Then give them that plan and you have a copy for your records and they keep it for their records and now at least they know what they’re gonna have to do to stay looking great, and it’s a great way for them to return again and again.
In addition to that, you could even let’s say you’re the surgeon or the doctor and you have ancillary staff that handles all the non-surgical stuff. You could meet with them and give them a prescription, literally have a prescription pad made up (I like a fun one) and do the plan on the prescription pad and then pass it off to your non-surgical staff so you have prescribed for them multiple numbers of treatments of laser injectables and so on. That way it’s more credible and nobody’s sold anybody anything it’s just you told them what you recommend and then they take it to the staff and it gets done.
In addition to that, combination treatment plans are fantastic. I actually have loved combination treatment promotions especially because there’s so much price-shopping going on nowadays. Especially with non-surgical, if you can add value and they can’t pull it apart that’s your best bet. So for example they buy a certain amount of Botox and injectable fillers and they get a free IPL treatment. It’s difficult for them to pull that apart because you gave them a special pricing combination. I love that it introduces them to different things that they haven’t tried already and the biggest reason is you know you can get a killer result when you use many several modalities, and boy they’ll come back for more when they see that.
Now the last area is the thing I call “cha-ching checkout” and I actually took that from my surgeons coaching club. Somebody said that once and I thought that was so brilliant. “Cha-ching checkout” because this is another area in the cosmetic practice that is sorely misunderstood and ignored. So much money is left on the table when you ignore this so here’s what “cha-ching checkout” is: think of the four R’s. The four R’s are return, refer, review and retail. Now here’s the secret for teaching cha-ching checkout, you really have to ask to get what you want. So here’s how you do it. First, you offer the patient who’s done for the day a gift. You can have a bowl of goodies (chocolate lips, chapstick with your branding on it, cool pens, skin care products) whatever it is you offer them a gift because psychologically once they accept a gift from you at the checkout counter they’re more open and likely to give you a gift (referrals). So you would have a display at checkout that says, “We want more patients just like you. Take a few cards.” This is when their wallet is out and they’re ready to pay. They take a couple of your referral cards and put them in their wallet.
You can also have a really fun retail display showing off your skincare products. Right now this happens to be the start of summer so I would actually go to one of those craft stores and have a cute display made with sand, sunglasses, an umbrella, sandals and gift cards and your skin care products and have a sign right next to it saying, “Need a quick gift?” and that way they realize oh my god I could actually get this for birthdays coming up for my friends and my family and this would be a great way to introduce them to my world. Isn’t that easy? And it’s fun.
The last ditch effort is you could always hand them your refer-a-friend cards with today’s receipt, so that way in case they didn’t take the cards you can give them the cards with the receipt and now they have a prop that they can use to pass your name around the community.
So all of the strategies I just went through right now, they’re super inexpensive most of them (the only expensive one was the newsletter). The other ones are super inexpensive, they’re fast and easy to produce, and the best part is they’re super effective. Now all you have to do is assign a different staff person to each of the strategies so they get done and they’re held responsible.
Little hinges swing big doors and I just gave you a bunch of them so please use them and of course, as usual, subscribe please and share me with your staff and your colleagues. If you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear them, please DM me and then if you want to, follow me on Instagram @catherinemaleymba.
She is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on cash practice building and trains staff to be converting rock stars.